09 April 2012

Screnzy pep talk: keep your conversations going

How's ScriptFrenzy going? If you're sticking with your schedule, you should be at about 25 pages. If you're not there yet, it's okay. There's still plenty of time, after all.

One of the things I run into sometimes is dead-ends in conversations. When you're dealing with prose, this isn't necessarily a problem. You can venture into a bit of description, reflect on the characters' thoughts or actions, or even make a note of the creepy stalker guy peeking at your protagonist from behind a bush.

Not as easy in script-writing.

Oh, sure, you can make something happen by adding some stage (or screen) directions, but in script-writing, conversations are key. If you have a dead-ended conversation, your scene has dead-ended.

There are things you can to do help keep your conversations (and scenes) going as you progress your plot and work toward 100 pages this month.

Ask questions.

If you feel like your conversation is winding down and it needs to continue, try asking questions of a character (or more than one character). Then, rather than directly answering the questions, ask more questions. Or answer them without actually answering them. Not only can this keep the conversation going, but it can help draw the audience into the story and build suspense.

Interrupt the conversation.

There are many times in life that a conversation is interrupted by someone or something, and after a brief distraction, the conversation resumes. This can be used in your script-writing, as well. If you feel a conversation fizzling out, bring in a character to interrupt, or have something happen to interrupt the characters. After the interruption is dealt with, the characters can go back to their original conversation, or can even discuss the interruption to lengthen the conversation.

We're about 1/4 of the way through the month. Don't worry if you're a little behind in your page count. Just keep pushing forward, adding pages, and before you know it, you'll be over 100 pages, maybe even before the end of the month!

Happy scribbling!

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